Dear fabulous furry freak brothers and sisters...BTW whatever did hhappen to Freaks??
A bit long this - apologies...I've been thinking - and this always takes time:)
This year I am taking part in a group exhibition on the theme of 'Danté's Divine Comedy' with 40 participating fantasy artists from around the world which will open in June at Galerie Brusen in Denmark and subsequently move on to Germany, France...and possibly London. The gallery owner, Claus Brusen, is a big fan of Fish, Marillion and my artwork so he invited me to take part.
As he represents painters of the calibre of English artist Patrick Woodruffe...I readily agreed as I felt I'd be in fantastic company. Patrick Woodruffe has been an inspiration for me since I began art school - some of you may know his work for the first Pallas album (who were signed up at around the same time as Marillion) also his groundbreaking art book and album with Dave Greenslade 'The Pentateuch Of The Cosmogony'. It was re-released last December with the original version highly collectible. His album art for Judas Priest's early album 'Sad Wings Of Destiny' is still a big favourite amongst their fans and set the template for what I have tried to achieve for them over the years.
After meeting Claus at The Design Museum recently for an exhibition of Alan Aldridge's art (perhaps my greatest influence in the beginning with airbrush art - and someone Claus is also talking to about a book project) - he asked me if I would be interested in having a book published of my work. He started a publishing company 'Edition Brusen' a few years back to compliment his gallery - concentrating on fantasy artists he represents and with his contacts and tireless enthusiasm for fantasy art in general, has fast become a leading light in this specialised field. The book we have in mind is a complete retrospective of my work to include all the best album cover art and other projects as diverse as Red Dwarf, Judge Dredd, postage stamps, The Monsters Of Rock posters etc. bringing it right up to date with the logo and poster design for Nearfest this year, as well as the Danté work and of course the designs for 13th Star...bringing my work for Fish right up to date.
Obviously my greatest patron over the years was uppermost in my mind when trying to choose a title for the book. After much deliberation I decided on 'Shadowplay' - it remains one of my favourite songs by Fish and the final verse in particular suited the visual nature of this proposed book. I am doing a new painting for the cover - a dark angel...skulking in the shadows - and together with the paintings I have to do for Danté - this will be an interesting year. The idea is to get the paintings and book design finished in time for it to be published this summer - but it will be an uphill task as I have to do other work to finance all this activity...ah well the best laid plans - if I miss Summer - it will definitely be published in time for Christmas.
It will be an oversize A4 22.5 x 30.5 cm hardback book, 192 pages in 4 colours plus satin-varnish. There might also be a special (very)
limited edition version which could be boxed with a folio of A4 signed prints or possibly a leather-bound book!..it's all being costed at the moment. Of course in this tough period with the financial system seemingly in freefall...it could not be worse timing in many respects, for a book, selling paintings or doing anything at all, but opportunities don't come around like this very often...nor do people that infect you with their enthusiasm and energy...so I am going to see what happens...nothing comes from nothing as they say!
I thought it would be great to involve fans of the artwork on this list and elsewhere...I know there are some of you I have met and
corresponded with that have created something unique inspired by my work - be it tattoo designs, painted jackets, custom designs on everything from cars to scooters, from spare wheel holders to embroidery, amateur paintings and drawings (these could already exist or be created specially for the Leamington convention) to 3D models of the jester. I have been enormously impressed by the work I have seen over the years and very touched that it has meant so much to you. I would like to feature some of these in my book - the best examples I can find. I also thought - inspired by Em's love of a competition:) - that the best examples of this 'associated' art could win a prize - with 'first' being the limited edition of the book, then hardback books for the runners up.
Fish will choose the prizewinners...with some of the finest examples on display (either original work - courtesy of the artists - or photographic prints depending on what wins) together with some of my work at an 'art expo - and Q&A' at the Fish convention in Leamington.
Please send any contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org
- from digital cameras is fine - but don't reduce the pixel size too much as I'd like them as hi-rez as I can to print as best as possible. The max print size need only be around 5" x 7".
Info on the proposed book and examples of some of Claus's other
publications and exhibitions can be found here: http://www.fantasmus-art.com
Thanks guys - Mark